H.P. Lovecraft: He Who Wrote in the Darkness

Alex Nikolavitch et al., trans. from the French by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Pegasus, $25.95 (124p) ISBN 978-1-68177-855-6
In this perfunctory graphic biography, Nikolavitch reviews the life of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is portrayed as out of step with the times and unable to take care of himself, while enjoying a wide circle of admiring correspondents. It’s those friendships with fellow horror and fantasy writers that make up the bulk of the narrative, as Lovecraft’s journeys to visit them spark his imagination, among forays into caves and graveyards, in scenes that are presented as a kind of answer to that perennial question authors face: “how did you get your ideas?” But while Lovecraft’s anti-Semitism, racism, and fascism are all addressed in passing, no attempt is made to connect them to the themes of his work. Nikolavitch also seems more interested in Lovecraft’s famous friends, such as Robert E. Howard and Houdini, than in digging into more complex relationships, such as with Lovecraft’s estranged wife, Sonia. The art is well-crafted and clear; the expressive character designs are a particular highlight. But while Lovecraft’s personal prejudices and eccentricities make him a difficult subject to capture, this take dodges the hard questions in favor of friendlier anecdotes. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/20/2018
Release date: 09/04/2018
Genre: Comics
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